I’ve had a few people ask me why we decided to start this Gleason Family Adventure. It has been exciting to speak to a lot of you via social media and in person about our upcoming trips. The main questions have been, “Why would you go backcountry hiking with your family?” and “What are the benefits of what you are doing?”

When trying to answer this question, I had to get to the why we chose to do this.

Then that made me think back to the what, What happened to get this idea rolling.

The Beginning

The Beginning

Our children were enrolled in an online homeschool program. It had been a great way to educate and have flexibility for our active family. However, a week before the start of the second semester we received an email that said the school was abruptly closing. Imagine my frustration and panic as I realized that I had to plan the last half of my school year in 7 days.

The idea of studying National Parks, geology, topography, and the history of America was one of the first things that came to my mind. I knew I could combine the 3 younger kids into the same “class” and add different learning activities that were grade-appropriate. As I  was working on the plan, my husband suggested not only learning about these places but GOING to these places and backcountry hiking. It did not take me long to jump onto his traveling school idea!


Mohican State Park

Honestly, we did not know what we were getting ourselves into. The planning, the gear, the physical exercise, and the mental preparation were all suddenly staring me in the face. I admit for a moment I thought, what in the heck are we thinking. We are not the most physically fit, we own NO backcountry gear and we are just your average family living life. I think it was when, I thought the word average in my head, that it clicked. We would no longer just be your average family. We would become an average HIKING family!

Gearing our family has been the most difficult aspect of this preparation process. It is expensive and there is a lot to choose from. I am learning that ounces make pounds. Pounds make heavier packs. Heavier packs will make grumpy kids and worn out parents. I am learning how to put together a pack and it has been a lot of PREPARATION!

REI and Ospery Packs were major contributors to our preparation:


The Why?


Why are we doing this?  I’ve answered the what happened part of the question to get us doing this and now let me answer the why.

The why:
It is a simple answer, we have gotten bit by a hiking, outdoor bug. We have put away the fear of being outdoors when it is cold. The snow is no longer a reason to stay inside, but a reason to get outside. We realized that life is flying by while we sit around and wait for the sun to come back out. The outdoors is FULL of things to do winter, spring, summer and fall.

I believe the answer to the why is we want to expand our horizons, enjoy creation, love our natural treasures and be adventurous!

If you’ve been waiting for life to be more exciting, you don’t have to wait any longer. Just open your front door, step outside and begin your next adventure. It’s all waiting right outside for you.

No matter where you live, the outdoors is calling you to enjoy her beauty.

 Why not choose go backcountry hiking and enjoy your local, state and national parks?


3 years have past since I wrote this blog post and it really feels like yesterday.  We’ve hiked the Rocky Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains, Acadia National Park and so many more wonderful places.

We’ve bought a travel trailer to continue our adventures and we now make sure to highlight some of the local history in  some of the places we go.

Getting outside has opened the doors to so many other adventures! Share with me some of your favorite adventures in the comments. I’d love to hear from you and we hope you go backcountry hiking with family!

Happy Adventures,


Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that I have experienced all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links. Please do not buy these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your outdoor goals.

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